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September 30th, 2012
02:14 PM ET

SOTU Crib Sheet for September 30

With only a few days until the first presidential debate, both campaigns are working to shape expectations. Senator John McCain, a man who has debated both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, said he doubted the debate Wednesday night would provide a game-changing moment. "I can't remember the last time there was one of these comments that grabbed everybody's attention because, frankly, the candidates are too well prepared. They're well scripted," McCain said.

On the foreign policy front, Obama campaign senior adviser David Axelrod defended the administration’s initial reaction to the violence in Libya that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens. “I was kind of shocked to see Representative King attack Ambassador Rice for what she said last Sunday here and elsewhere, because she was acting on the intelligence that was given to her by the intelligence community.” McCain argued that the administration's initial reaction had "certain political overtones."

Missouri Senator Roy Blunt (R) expressed confidence in Todd Akin’s Senate candidacy despite a series of controversial remarks. “I think at the end of the day, that race does largely become a debate about the majority in the Senate." Blunt went on to say that any other Republican candidate would be leading in the polls, adding that "Todd very well may win."
FULL POST

September 30th, 2012
12:18 PM ET

Are we better off now?

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley discuss the state of the 2012 campaign, taxes, and Todd Akin.


Filed under: Martin O'Malley • Newsmakers • Roy Blunt • State of the Union
September 30th, 2012
12:08 PM ET

Who won the week?

CNN's political junkies take a look back at the week that was and answer the question: Who won? You may be surprised what they say.


Filed under: 2012 • Finally... • State of the Union
September 30th, 2012
12:06 PM ET

Anticipation builds for the first debate

Dana Bash, Alex Castellanos and Celinda Lake discuss the expectations for next week's presidential debate in Denver.


Filed under: Alex Castellanos • Celinda Lake • Dana Bash
September 30th, 2012
12:02 PM ET

Sen. McCain: "political overtones" with Libya situation

Sen. McCain (R-AZ) said the Obama administration's reaction to the Libya attacks show "certain political overtones."

"It was either willful ignorance or abysmal intelligence to think that people come to spontaneous demonstrations with heavy weapons, mortars, and the attack goes on for hours."


Filed under: John McCain • Libya • Middle East • Newsmakers • State of the Union
September 30th, 2012
11:50 AM ET

Axelrod on Obama's 2012 closing strategy

Senior Obama Campaign Adviser David Axelrod says the Obama campaign is ahead in the polls because of their policies and not mistakes made by the Romney campaign.

"We're ahead, Candy, because the American people believe that this president has in his mind and in his heart the middle class and how to rebuild an economy that works for the middle class in this country, and that is fundamental in what they're looking for."


Filed under: David Axelrod • Newsmakers
September 30th, 2012
11:45 AM ET

Axelrod defends Ambassador Rice

Senior Obama Campaign Adviser David Axelrod defended U.S. Ambassador to the U.N Susan Rice's initial reaction to the attacks against the U.S. embassy in Libya.

"I was kind of shocked to see Representative King attack Ambassador Rice for what she said last Sunday here and elsewhere, because she was acting on the intelligence that was given to her by the intelligence community. To say she should resign - she is one of the most remarkable, splendid public servants we have. That's thoroughly irresponsible."


Filed under: David Axelrod • Newsmakers • Road to 2012
September 30th, 2012
11:38 AM ET

McCain lowers debate expectations

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) debated both 2012 presidential candidates in 2008 and gives us a unique perspective as the campaigns try to manage expectations.

"I think it's going to be excellent. I think both candidates are well-prepared, and understandably, you'll see their surrogates lowering expectations, oh, I don't know how our guy will compete, and that's part of the whole routine."

"I think sometimes we expect a major breakthrough, you know, the comment that - that doesn't happen very often. It happened with Reagan and Mondale. It happened with Reagan and Carter."

"Frankly, I can't remember the last time there was one of these comments that grabbed everybody's attention because, frankly, the candidates are too well-prepared. They're well-scripted."


Filed under: 2012 • John McCain • Newsmakers • State of the Union

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